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Dhaka Tribune

DB chief: Airport officials have links with gang in human trafficking in Europe

  • Officials help the gang by taking advantage of the airport's special entry permit
  • DB conduct raids and arrest 2 gang leaders
  • Fake passports, visas and work permits recovered
Update : 22 Feb 2024, 11:09 PM

Officials of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport have a link with a human trafficking gang who illegally send people to various European countries, including Schengen countries.

The gang sends people illegally abroad by taking advantage of the airport's special entry permit. 

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Additional Commissioner and Detective Branch (DB) chief Mohammad Harunor Rashid revealed the information while briefing journalists at the DB office on Minto Road in the capital on Thursday.

He said that the gang has cheated more than 200-250 people in the name of sending them to Europe in the last one and a half years.

DB arrested five people, including the two ringleaders of the gang, on Wednesday morning. 

The DB chief said that the court has granted a one-day remand for the arrested persons. 

During initial interrogation, the three passengers admitted to illegally travelling to France,  Italy and Greece, paying brokers Tk16 to 18 lakh.

“Many have been arrested after going abroad. Many have served time in prison in different countries, some are still in jail. However, in the statements of the two ringleaders, it has emerged that some senior officials of Bangladesh Biman are associated with this gang,” said Harunur Rashid. 

On Wednesday morning, the gang members were trying to send three people abroad with fake visas from the east side of Terminal-2 at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. 

Tipped off, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DB) and Armed Police Battalion (APBn) conducted raids and arrested the two gang leaders Mohammad Asaduzzaman, Mohammad Kabir Hossain.

DB also detained three passengers, Jan-e-Alam, Sabbir Mia and Samrat Saudagar, who were preparing to go abroad through the gang. 

Three passports, three fake visas, four NIDs, special airport entry pass cards, four ATM cards, five mobiles, three e-tickets, fake work permit and visa documents, one driving license, Tk16,000 were recovered from two gang members.

Harunur Rashid said that ordinary people are losing money in the clutches of human traffickers. In various ways, they have scrambled to get to the Middle East, especially European countries with Schengen visas.

This gang has established a strong circle that includes Bangladesh Biman security officials, Kuwait Airways booking assistants, some competent computer operators, as well as several manpower export and travel agencies. The gang is trying to do human trafficking to Schengen countries using tourist visas, he added.

Talking about the members involved, the DB chief said that the work of the gang is to confirm entry at the airport. Travel agencies manage tickets. Receiving the tickets to go to a European country, they enter the airport. Bangladesh Biman's security staff and Kuwait Airways' booking assistants inspect their papers during boarding. As they have a link with the gang, they say everything is fine. They are not even checked at immigration. The victim travelling abroad gets on the plane with fake boarding cards without realizing it.

Harunur Rashid continued: “Even if they go from a fast destination Bangladesh, many times they are detained at the transit point in the middle. Sometimes they are detained at such last destinations as France, Germany or other countries of Europe. Someone is then either imprisoned or deported. After serving jail time some people find work.”

“During interrogation, the arrested persons said that the gang has sent more than 250 people abroad on tourist visas. Many of whom have returned to the country after living an inhumane life,” the DB chief also added. 

“We believe that senior officials of Biman Bangladesh may be involved with the gang. We will definitely interrogate them. International broker gangs are also involved with this. We will bring everyone under the law,” he added.

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